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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 19:55 GMT
Group C results

By Ben Wyatt

Zaki celebrates with his Egyptian team-mates
Zaki celebrates with his Egyptian team-mates
Defending champions Egypt qualified for the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations as Group C winners despite drawing against Zambia in Kumasi.

Amr Zaki's close-range left-foot volley completed a sweeping team move to give Egypt the lead after 14 minutes.

The Pharaohs went close again when Hosni Abd Rabou blazed over and Mohamed Aboutrika struck from distance.

Zambia's equaliser came when Chris Katongo scored with two minutes left, shooting inside the near post.

Hassan Shehata said that Egypt would go for the win before the match and, true to his word, he kept faith with the 3-5-2 formation that had brought victories against Cameroon and Sudan in Group C.

Captain Ahmed Hassan replaced striker Mohamed Zidan in the Pharaohs' line up while Shadi Mohamed was given a starting berth.

In an almost deserted Kumasi Sports Stadium it was Zambia who made the brighter start against the five-time champions of Africa as they attempted to keep their Nations Cup dream alive.


Good interplay between Felix Katongo and the orange-booted Jacob Mulenga created Chipolopolo's first shot on target, when Mulenga let rip to test goalkeeper Essem Al-Hadri from 20 yards.

Though slow to start, the North Africans showed their pedigree on 15 minutes.

Ahmed Fathi dazzled the Zambian defence with a dribble across the edge of the penalty area, Sayed Moawad crossed from the right flank and Zaki fired a left-foot volley home from ten yards to give Egypt the lead.

The Egyptian tactic of closing down in numbers and hitting their opponents on the break gave the creaky Zambian defence much to think about.

On 27 minutes Hosni Abd Rabou found Zaki clear in area but the Zamalek man could only hit keeper Kennedy Mweene with a right-footed shot that scuffed along the ground.

The Pharaohs squandered more chances to extend their lead before the end of the first half when Fathi smashed a screamer just wide of the left upright and Abd Rabou blazed over from close range.

The second half started with Egypt continuing to dominate possession, helped by some good passing and movement.

Egypt had the three good opportunities to score within ten minutes of the restart, with Zaki's drive from thirty yards needing an acrobatic save from Kennedy Mweene.

Shehata brought on his big guns with 30 minutes left to play replacing Zaki with Mohamed Zidan and Hassan with Mohamed Aboutrika.

Zambia had a glorious chance to score when Clive Hachilensa was found free in the area from a corner, but he could only head into the ground.

Aboutrika then turned and found space on the outside of the Zambian area to force yet another save from the well-worked Mweene.

But with two minutes of normal time remaining Brondby forward, and Zambia captain Katongo pulled the Chipolopolo level when he calmly controlled a pass into the area, dummied the on-rushing Fathi and placed his shot inside the near post.

The equaliser set up a frantic few minutes as Zambia pushed on for the winner only for James Chamanga to dash his side's hopes by sending his shot into the high and wide of the far post.

Egypt: El Hadari, Mohamed, Hany Said, Moawad, Gomaa, Fathi, Abd Rabou, Shawky, Hassan (Aboutrika 60), Moteab (Ibrahim Said 77), Zaki (Zidan 60).
Subs Not Used: Abdel Monssef, Sobhy, El Saeed, Fathallah, El Mohamady, Gamal, Mostafa, Shaaban, Fadl.

Goals: Zaki 15.

Zambia: Mweene, Musonda, Himonde, Mwanza (Kampamba 30), Hachilensa, Chansa (Kalaba 77), Bakala, Felix Katongo, Christopher Katongo, Jacob Mulenga (Phiri 65), Chamanga.
Subs Not Used: Poto, Kakonje, Chinyama, Nketani, Kasonde, Clifford Mulenga, Njovu, Mayuka, Sunzu.

Booked: Felix Katongo, Chansa.

Goals: Christopher Katongo 88.

Ref: Koman Coulibaly (Mali).

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26 Jan 08 |  African
Egypt 4-2 Cameroon
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